I discovered Frenchy & the Punk quite by accident at the 2014 Steampunk World’s Fair. I watched their Sunday afternoon concert and couldn’t believe how amazing they were and wondered why I hadn’t heard of them before that day. I bought their CD “Hey Hey Cabaret” at their merch stand and listened to it almost every day for a month thereafter. I’ve found that a nice way to relive an event such as the SPWF is to purchase some of the music that I listened to (and it supports the artists also).
Their music as described on their website:
Imagine Siouxsie Sioux and Dee Dee Ramone had a duo that was inspired by Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf, Toulouse Lautrec and Deepak Chopra, this is what it might sound like. One part Dresden Dolls, Sonny and Cher and one part White Stripes. A pixie spirited flexitarian band of tree hugging, gothic, folky, Steam Punks by way of Paris and New York. Doused in red wine, kale and granola, raised on punk rock and ballet, eclectic and uplifting… fun with a capital F!
Samantha Stephenson (Frenchy)
Scott Heland (The Punk)
Photos from Steampunk World’s Fair 2015 performance.
Ziegfelds Midnight Frolic
I was fortunate to attend “Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic” last spring in New York City. The historic theater that housed the show was hidden away behind a diner near Times Square. It has been said that the theater is haunted by one of its former stars. This show is described as immersive theater, as the action in the musical occurs around the audience who are also invited to dress up and play a part that is given to them as they arrive.
The story revolves around Olive Thomas, a Ziegfeld showgirl, whose life ended tragically after she married Jack Pickford. The performance explores whether her death was a suicide, murder, or just an unfortunate accident. During the three intermissions you can watch each scenario of the night of her death take place in a hidden glass enclosed upstairs room decorated to recreate the Paris hotel room where she died.
The first floor has a stage where various burlesque acts and singers perform contemporary songs in the style of the (1930’s). One of my favorite performances was the song “Chandelier” where the dancer’s were actually swinging from the ornate chandelier above us.
The second floor is decorated in the style of the infamous Cabaret du Néant (Cabaret of Nothingness) which was in Montmartre, Paris. One of the highlights of the show for me was while in the Carbaret du Néant, Jack Pickford took my hand and led me over to a bench and began to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. I was taken aback, though, when Olive Thomas came over and confronted me for talking to her husband. I truly was part of the immersive experience!
The musical was written, directed and produced by Countess Cynthia Von Buhler. I first learned of Countess Von Buhler through Dr. Sketchy in New York City. I saw her first immersive theater piece “Speakeasy Dollhouse” which explored the mysterious unsolved murder of Cynthia Von Buhler’s grandfather. The first time I saw the show I was hooked, and ended up seeing it two more times. Each time was totally different experience.
Ziegfelds’ Midnight Frolic was one of the most fun, thrilling and unique experiences I’ve had in New York City. I am really looking forward to see what Countess Cynthia Von Buhler comes up with next!
Last weekend I went to the Grand Ball at QXT’s in Newark, New Jersey. Even though I had seen Voltaire at his Necrocomicom last year, this was my first time seeing him perform. He is an incredible performer, and his stories between songs really left an impression on me. As described on his website:
Voltaire (Aurelio Voltaire Hernandez) is often described as a modern day renaissance man. He is a singer/ performer, creator of comic books, animation and toys.
Last weekend I visited the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey. This is one of my favorite shore spots and each year I discover new interesting spots. We went to see the Promenade of Mermaids, but I stumbled upon a pinup clothing shop, a pirate, and some vintage guitars.
Retro Model at Bettie’s Bombshells
Bettie’s Bombshells is a boardwalk boutique specializing in vintage inspired designer pinup couture. I picked up some sunglasses and a Bettie Page low cut t-shirt. I want to go back though to get a retro bathing suit.
We listened to the “Creepy Bard” (the name he goes by) play guitar on the boardwalk.
We found some amazing vintage guitar. Asbury Park is home to music venues and you can hear music almost every night of the week.
All of the photos in this post were taken with the Hipstmatic app on my iPhone. I used a combination of Tinto 1884 and Louis XIV infrared to get a dreamy, hyper real look.
No lie, I’ve been listening to Lou Reed’s Transformer for the last week while painting and it was in my CD player when I found out that he had died over the weekend. Lou Reed was one of my favorite artists since my record store years. I’ve had many great memories over the years, like seeing him at the Matisse show at the MOMA in the 90’s, seeing “Songs for Drella” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and seeing him onstage with David Bowie performing “White Light, White Heat”.
I added this photo of myself wearing my Lou Reed t-shirt to Julia Kay’s Portrait Party a couple of years ago and have had several portraits done with Lou’s image looking up at me.
I loved his voice. I loved the way he was such a presence in New York City. I wish I could have seen him sing one last time.
I usually don’t use the Daily Prompt for inspiration for my posts, but this one seemed like fun. While digging through my CDs (yes, I still have CDs) I found this compilation I made a while back. At one time I think I had all of these songs on vinyl or tape. Here are some other songs I would add to my mix tape in no particular order:
Velvet Underground featuring Nico – I’ll be your Mirror
David Bowie – Heroes
Robyn Hitchcock – So you think you’re in Love
Clash – Train in Vain
The Replacements – Kiss me on the Bus
Kinks – Shangri La
Strangler – Skin Deep
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
Iggy Pop – Passenger
The Pretenders – Cuban Slide
The Fratelli’s – Chelsea Dagger
If you have any song suggestions please add them in the comments.
Portrait of Amanda-inkpad and Picgrunger on iPad
This week I received Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Auto Orchestra’s Theater is Evil CD and book from her Kickstarter campaign. I loved slicing open the cellophane on the book/CD holder and the “new book smell”. It brought back memories of my younger days of bringing home CDs and records from the record store and opening them up anticipating the artwork and the lyrics in the inner sleeve. The book is beautifully made and filled with the lyrics and artwork that was commissioned from different artists to go with each song.
The KickStarter Bundle including a thank you card and list of concerts
I have been following Amanda Palmer for several years on Twitter (I think she was the 130th person who I followed on Twitter) and I have discovered a lot of artist through her Twitter feed. I became aware of Molly Crabapple and Dr. Sketchy because of Amanda Palmer’s Twitter, which led me to drawing with various Dr. Sketchy branches in New York and New Jersey. One Dr. Sketchy highlight for me was a session based on Neil Gaiman’s (Amanda’s Husband) Sandman which featured Stoya as Death. So you can say that Amanda Palmer’s Twitter feed has been a big influence on my art over the last two years.
Stoya as Death, Sketchbook Pro on IPad
I’ve been listening to the CD a lot over the last couple of days. It’s a great CD to draw and paint to, I will be played frequently in my studio. This is the first CD I’ve bought in maybe over a year since getting most of my music on iTunes. I also got to see the live webcast of her Webster Hall show. I am hoping to get to see her live soon because her shows look amazing.